Sales of Warner Bros. and New Line movies on DVD and Blu-ray have improved significantly since the first quarter, Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes said Friday. Speaking at a Sanford Bernstein investors conference in New York, Bewkes acknowledged that growth in the DVD market has not been increasing at the rate it did prior to the recession -- suggesting that the slowdown had less to do with the economy than with the fact that the market for DVDs faces a maturity issue. (Many consumers now already own extensive DVD libraries and are not disposed to adding to them.) As reported by Home Media Retail magazine, Bewkes told the conference "Overall, we are not seeing a huge amount of unpredictable or declining trends. ... We are seeing a relative advantage for us and some stabilizing in the market going on." Meanwhile Time Warner's board on Friday approved plans to separate AOL from the main company, probably through a spin-off. Bewkes said, ""We believe that a separation will be the best outcome for both Time Warner and AOL. The separation will be another critical step in the reshaping of Time Warner that we started at the beginning of last year, enabling us to focus to an even greater degree on our core content businesses."

01/06/2009